Hamsters have become the most popular caged pets and are the first pet any baby would ask for.
If you are a hamster owner, you need to realize that a hamster’s sleep cycle will have an impact on you.
Many hamster owners will often ask,’ how long do hamsters sleep? Is my hamster’s sleep cycle normal?’
Having answers to these questions will help you figure out if a hamster is a pet for you in the first place.
Hamsters, just like humans, require quality sleep to function properly and remain healthy and a cute hamster name would also not hurt.
Do hamsters sleep?
If you find yourself wondering if your hamster seems to sleep all the time, then there is a lot you need to know about hamsters’ sleeping patterns.
Scientists usually disagree on whether hamsters are nocturnal or crepuscular.
The fact is, hamsters sleep during the full daylight hours but become more active when the sun is setting or not there at all.
They adapt these sleep patterns to combat the daylight heat.
They dig deep burrows underground to live in and sleep during the day, then during the night, they set out to hunt, mate and socialize.
In the wild, the hamster is usually a prey animal.
Hence, sleeping in their burrows throughout the day when their predators are awake is a survival sense.
Therefore, domesticated hamsters may no longer have survival worries, but they would still take up the same sleeping patterns.
When do hamsters sleep?
As mentioned earlier, hamsters rely on getting all their sleep during the day.
If this does not happen, you will begin to see an impact on their health.
They will begin to experience higher stress levels and become aggressive than usual.
Sleep deprivation in hamsters will impair their memory and the performance of their daily tasks.
In extreme cases, chronic inadequate sleep shortens a hamster’s lifespan.
As a hamster owner, you do not want such outcomes for your pet.
Hence, ensure you take time to learn more about hamsters’ sleep patterns, including their historical significance so that you will find ways to provide an optimum habitual environment for the pet.
How long do hamsters sleep?
Most hamster owners are never at home the entire day to observe the sleep cycles of these pets.
If you are this type of owner, you will always wonder, ‘how long do hamsters sleep a day?’
The same way one person may need more sleep and another less is the same way daily sleep cycles of hamsters will vary from one hamster to the next.
Your hamster’s life stage will have an impact on the amount of daily sleep your pet gets. In Syrian hamsters they need to be housed alone.
It is because one may need more or less sleep than the other Syrian hamster.
For the other hamster breeds that can be housed together, such as the dwarf hamsters, you may witness additional variance in their sleep cycles because they influence each other.
Hamster owners need to know that as long as your pet is healthy in all other ways, it will clock in six to eight hours of sleep a day, with the majority of sleeping hours during the day.
It is essential to figure out your hamster’s sleep patterns in the beginning when you are still getting to know each other.
So that when it begins to sleep for up to twelve hours or sleeps during day and night, you will know of the right time to call the veterinarian.
When you eventually become more aware of your hamster’s sleep cycles, you will be able to spot variances quickly that might indicate something wrong.
How do hamsters sleep?
A sleepy hamster will not just fall asleep regardless of the events happening around them.
Hamsters know that they are most vulnerable when they are asleep.
This means that they tend to remain on high alert even in their captivity until it is completely safe for them to sleep.
This means that everything in your pet’s cage should be perfect as that will encourage it to fall asleep restfully on a daily.
To help your hamster feel safe to go to sleep, ensure that there is ambient room temperature that favors sleep.
When the room is too cold, the hamster will find it difficult to fall asleep.
Waking your hamster up
It is not advisable to suddenly wake hamsters up.
When that happens, they will not express their displeasure from being woken up suddenly politely.
However, you will not always have to wait for the hamster to wake up because, at times, you may have valid reasons for waking them up mid-sleep.
If you are going to wake your hamster up in the middle of its sleep, you will need to plan.
To wake the hamster up, you first have to gradually raise the lights in the room until it is fully bright.
After that, talk very softly to it and change its food and water while doing so.
After it is roused, pet it softly to encourage it to wake up fully. Everything is done slowly to avoid triggering its self-protective response.
Hamster sleeping at night.
As a hamster owner, you probably wonder if it is right for your pet to sleep at night.
If in the beginning, you notice that your hamster sleeps during the day and night and everything about it is healthy, then there is no cause for alarm.
This is because, like human beings, they could sleep, wake up, sleep again, and then wake up.
However, if something about its night sleep changes, observe the variance for one or two days, then call a vet.
Most times, your hamster could fall asleep during the day and sleep even more through the night, yet that had not been the case.
These could be the triggers to look out for.
When this happens, it could be because the temperature is too cold.
Your hamster could be sleeping during the day and night, too, due to inadequate food and water. Rectify this by providing sufficient food and water.
Other times, your hamster could be sleeping all day and all night because it is ill.
You will tell if it is ill because, during such times, it will cease to be active and choose to remain curled up every other time. Remedy this by taking it to the veterinarian.
For any questions about your hamster’s sleeping patterns, it is always advisable to consult the vet.